There is the family you come from; the family you live with now; and the family that is your community that you live and work in as neighbors and co-workers. All these families experience conflict as a natural part of being human. However, managing conflict is not always natural and can be learned.
Cohabitating, Premarital, or Marital Couples Mediation
Growing together can be as difficult as growing apart because some of the same difficult conversations need to happen: Who is paying what bills? Who has what chores? Are the short and long term goals the same? If you’re already cohabitating or married, these questions don’t change, but deepen with the relationship as actions represent where the relationship is going. People change along with life and mediation can help you to have those inevitable difficult conversations and communicate easier going forward.
Divorcing or Separating Couples Mediation
Over time all things change including our closest relationship with our spouse or life partner. Whether divorcing or separating the terrain is new and it can create anxiety about the future. There are many difficult conversations that can be hard to start, maneuver through; and then there are the emotions to deal with. Mediation can provide a process to travel through the new terrain and calm the anxiety of the future, issue by issue.
The divorce is over and was settled months or even years ago. Now there is a new issue that wasn’t covered in the divorce settlement. Maybe you’re thinking of opening the divorce up again; or you find out the real estate you received in the divorce and trying to sell has a lein on it; or maybe it’s something to do with your grown children and grandchildren. It can be as simple as who is contributing what toward the daughter’s wedding to grandparenting schedules. Mediation can help you share what is important to you and why, and help you to work together to figure out how you will move forward.
Co-Parenting Negotiations & Relations
How do you move from a couple to a non-couple and still co-parent? Decisions regarding the children need to be made on an almost daily basis so who is going to make those decisions? How are you going to communicate privately and in front of the children? The spouse/life partner relationship is over, but you’re still a team for your child(ren)’s sake. What does your future relationship look and feel like? Mediation can help you sort through all the questions that need to be answered; and help you to listen to understand through thoughtful reflection so that the new co-parenting relationship can move to a better and more comfortable place for you and the sake of your children.
Elder Care & Adult Guardianship Mediation
Growing old is another stage in life that requires transition from a known state to a state of frailty that can be frightening for the elderly as they lose their independence along with their health. Often times the elderly feel that they do not have a voice, and the care giver feels alone and burnt out. Becoming the parent of your parent can be emotionally challenging when your parents can no longer care for themselves either physically, financially, and/or no longer have the mental capacity to manage their own lives. Mediation can help pave the path between the two experiences of the elder and the care giver to create a feeling of trust and support. Additionally, there is often other family dynamics to add to the complexity of the conflict such as numerous caregivers that are often relatives or lack of other family members’ involvement to help with the care and necessary decision making. Figuring out who will pay which expenses and the caregiver schedule are two examples of conversations the mediation can help you have and manage together.
When there’s no will from the loved one who has passed, disagreements can quickly arise as to what should happen with the estate. Or maybe there was land left to two or more family members and everyone has their own idea of what should be done with the land. These arguments can ruin relationships forever. Mediation is an alternative worth trying that may settle the disagreement and spare the relationship from ruin. Settling these matters before going to a lawyer can reduce emotional and financial stress and court time.
Neighbor(hood) Conflict Resolution
Just like a family member a community member can be difficult to “live with.” There are the usual neighbor disputes over dogs, children, and fences. Or sometimes there are more complicated disputes that involve a whole neighborhood or community. Mediation through a facilitation process can provide an opportunity for everyone to feel heard and understood so that a consensus can be reached that feels fair to all involved.
Internal Conflict Coaching
Moral dilemmas, ethical dilemmas, and life changing decision making can sometimes be overwhelming. Or maybe you just have a problem and a possible solution that you just want to talk privately about before you act on it. This one-on-one conflict coaching process combines dispute resolution and coaching principles to clarify the conflict, the possible solutions, and develop a strategy to resolve your individual situation.
Family Business Mediation
Family members working together in a business can create very complex conflict situations. In addition to the different generations of family that can be present there are different relationships between the family members and the co-workers. This can create unbearable working conditions for all involved. Mediation can help by creating consensus between the different stakeholders as to what is appropriate and fair in the workplace.